Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June 6: 1 Kings 1; Psalm 124; Proverbs 16:24; Acts 4



Overview

            1 Kings: When David was old, he couldn’t keep warm so his servants found a beautiful young woman to lie with him and keep him warm, but she didn’t have sex with him. At that time, Adonijah the oldest of his sons decided he would be king. He got a chariot and 50 men to run before him. David had never reprimand him. He had Joab and Abiathar the priest help him. Zadok the priest, Benaiah, Nathan, and other might men didn’t join him.
            Adonijah had a sacrifice and invited all his brothers except Solomon and the men siding with David. Nathan warned Bathsheba what was happening and if she doesn’t convince David to do something, she and Solomon would be killed because David had promised the kingdom to Solomon.
            Bathsheba went to king David and told him all that Adonijah was doing, declaring himself king. Nathan came next and repeated everything Bathsheba had reported. He asked if David had endorsed this and not told his servants who were not invited to the coronation.
            David promised Bathsheba that Solomon would be king. He instructed his faithful servants to take Solomon to Gihon, anoint him with oil from the tent and make him king. They did so and blew the trumpet, announced to all Israel that Solomon was king, brought him back to Jerusalem, and he sat on David’s throne.
            Adonijah and his guest heard the commotion and wondered what was happening. Jonathan, Abiathar’s son came and told them what happened. All the guests were afraid and scattered. Adonijah went to the altar and took hold of its horns. He asked Solomon not to kill him. Solomon said he would not die if he was worthy but if he acted wickedly, he would die. Then Adonijah paid homage to Solomon.
            Psalm: David acknowledges and asks all Israel to join with him in declaring that they would be lost to their enemies if the Lord had not been on their side and saved them. He praises the Lord who helped them escape from their enemies. Their help in in the name of the Lord who is the creator of all.
            Proverbs: Speaking graciously is a physical benefit to people who hear it as well to those who speak this way.
            Acts: While Peter and John were speaking to the people about Jesus’ resurrection, priest, Sadducees, and the captain of the temple guard arrested them. 5,000 men were saved. They were imprisoned until the next day when they were brought before the high priest, rules, elders, and scribes. They were asked by what power or name they did the healing of the lame man. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and told them it was by the name of Jesus of Nazareth whom the officials crucified but God raised from the dead. He also said that there is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.
            The officials were astonished that uneducated men could be so bold. They could not deny the healing because the man was standing before them. So, they conferred in private what to do. To prevent this from spreading they brought Peter, John, and the healed man back in and commanded them not speak in Jesus’ name any more. Peter and John told the officials that they had to listen to God and not the officials and they must tell what they have heard and seen. The officials threatened them but didn’t have reason to punish them because the people were praising God.
            When they returned to the believers and told them what happened, they praise the Sovereign Lord who had spoken of this by David in Psalm 2:1-2. The said that this was all predestined and asked the Lord so they could be bold in preaching and that the Lord would confirm with signs and wonders. After praying, the place was shaken, they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and continued to speak the word of God boldly.
            The believers had everything in common so that there were no needy people among them. The Apostles were speaking with great power. Many who had land and houses sold them and gave the money to the Apostles. It was distributed to those who had need. Barnabas sold a field and gave the proceeds.

What Stood Out

            1 Kings: “And Solomon said, ‘If he will show himself a worthy man, not one of his hairs shall fall to the earth, but if wickedness is found in him, he shall die’” (1 Kings 1:52).
            Psalm: “Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps 124:8).
            Proverbs: “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Prov 16:24).
            Acts: “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31).

Insight

            1 Kings: We can chalk Adonijah’s rebellion up to David’s old age or we can see this as just another consequence of his sin with Bathsheba. However, the key to Adonijah’s rebellion was the fact that David never disciplined him. He didn’t do what a father should do in instructing him. So Adonijah thought he could do as he pleased. He knew David had promised Solomon the kingdom since he wasn’t invited to the feast.
            However, we also see that God’s promises can’t be thwarted. There were enough faithful servants to warn David and crown Solomon. Solomon showed more grace to Adonijah than he deserved. He spared him, but made it clear that one slip, one act of wickedness would cost him his life.
            Adonijah is a picture of every sinner. We have rebelled even when we know what God’s commands are. We know that Jesus is the Lord’s anointed but we rebel against him. Then we come before Jesus and ask for mercy. We don’t deserve it, but we deserve to die. Instead he gives us grace and mercy. That’s where the similarities end. God doesn’t conditionally pardon us, he completely pardons us. We will not be killed if we act wickedly. In fact, we sin within minutes of repenting and turning to Jesus for salvation. But Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins is once for all. We need to confess our sins after our salvation, but Jesus forgives and cleanses us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).
            Psalm: We need to take some time every day to acknowledge that the Lord is our help. There isn’t anything that we can do without him. We may not see it, but every breath that we take is only because the Lord will it and makes sure it happens. We don’t have to have a near miss car accident to make us realize that. The maker of heaven and earth is the one who is still in control of every event in the universe. We should take time to praise him for this every day.
            Proverbs: How many times have you or someone you known gotten all worked up, nervous, and even sick because of the way someone has spoken? It is quite common, especially in families. When we are kind and gracious in our speech instead of angry and accusing, there is peace, calm, and an atmosphere that promotes healthy living. We even feel good about ourselves when we are speaking kindly. It is good for both the person speaking and the one who hears.
            Acts: I don’t know how long after Jesus’ ascension this took place. It could have been days or weeks after Pentecost. However, it was the start of the fulfilling of Jesus’ prophecy, “Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles. When they deliver you over, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour” (Matt 10:17-20). These supposedly uneducated men were bold before the Jewish officials because it was the Spirit speaking through them. Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and witnessed to the very people who had condemned Jesus.
            In our own strength, we wouldn’t be able to do anything like this. However, when we depend on the Holy Spirit to lead us, we can be just as bold. We may be shaking on the inside but the Holy Spirit is working to convict and bring people to Jesus.
            It is also notable that when the Apostles returned to the other believers and they prayed, they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Counting Pentecost, Peter’s time before the officials, and in the house with the other believers, this is Peter’s third filling by the Holy Spirit.
            People say many things about the filling of the Holy Spirit. Mostly, they say what they want to believe about this experience and quote only the verses that pertain to that doctrine. I’ll say this, Peter’s experience of being filled three times doesn’t fit most of what people say. The same terminology is used in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament before the Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost (Ex 31:3, 35:31; Mic 3:8; Luke 1:15, 41, 67). Rather than trying to make this something that it isn’t, it should suffice to say that these are times when God, through his Spirit gives a person a special anointing to perform some task. The task may be a few minutes as happened with Peter before the officials or it may continue longer as with the believers speaking with boldness. Whatever this may be, it should never be confused with receiving the Holy Spirit upon salvation. That is a one-time event because the Holy Spirit is our seal and guarantee of our inheritance (Eph 1:13-14). Neither should it be taken to mean that all believers must be filled in this same way or they are second-class Christians. There is no mention of the 3,000 on the day of Pentecost being filled with the Spirit. They were simply told they would receive the Holy Spirt (Acts 2:38). There is no mention of this occurring to the 5,000 in today’s reading. Unfortunately, I have never read anything that provides a truly balanced view. If you are concerned with what I’ve said, I suggest you do your own research in the Bible without any prejudiced about one position or another.

Application

             I certainly need boldness in sharing the gospel. I can also do more to praise our creator and let others know that without him, we wouldn’t even exist. I don’t deserve salvation and that is something to share with others also. It is only by the name of Jesus I’ve been saved.

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